On August 27, the next mission of the Great River Honor Flight program will head to Washington DC. This is the 32nd mission overall since the program started back in 2010, and will bring the total number of local veterans who have flown to Washington DC for free to over 1,000.

This mission will include local veterans who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The trip will depart from Hannibal LaGrange University around 2AM on August 27. The 35 Veterans and their Guardians will travel by Charter Bus to St. Louis Lambert International Airport where they will board a flight to Baltimore and then on to our nation’s capital. The first stop will be at the Vietnam and Korea War Memorials. This stop will also include visits to the nearby Lincoln Memorial. Next on their itinerary is a stop at the World War II Memorial, which sits next to the Washington Monument and where a group picture will be taken. Other stops later that day include the Iwo Jima Memorial dedicated to that WWII battle and the Marines who fought there plus an emotional visit to Arlington National Cemetery. To commemorate crossing the 1,000th mark, veterans on this trip will take part in a special wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington. The trip will end with a visit to the Air Force Memorial that overlooks the Pentagon and Washington DC where they will also enjoy dinner prior to returning to Reagan National for their trip home. The direct flight will take them back to St. Louis where they will board a bus for the trip to Hannibal. The expected arrival time will be around 10:30 p.m. at Hannibal LaGrange’s Mabee Sports Complex.

Of the 35 local Veterans traveling 19 are from Missouri and the remaining 16 from Illinois. They represent Adams, Marion, Ralls, Lewis, Pike, Randolph, Henderson, Lincoln, Franklin, Clark, Monroe, Hancock and St. Louis Counties. 21 Guardians will accompany them on their Flight. The volunteer Guardians’ (some of which are family members) focus is to make the trip as enjoyable as possible for each veteran. Guardians not only volunteer their time, but also pay out of their own pockets to cover their travel costs.

To date Great River Honor Flight, the Tri-States’ hub of the Honor Flight program has flown 968 local Veterans to Washington D.C. since it was established in October of 2009.

The Great River Honor Flight offers one-day trips to Washington, D.C. for these local heroes at no cost to them. Great River Honor Flight, a Missouri Nonprofit Corporation established in October of 2009, was created solely to honor America’s veterans that live in our area for all they have sacrificed by providing, free of charge, transportation to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.

Keep up to date and see and pictures from their trip online.  For additional information, contact either David Mobley at 573-985-5641 or 573-248-2136.